PFL 2’s Brent Primus on Usman Nurmagomedov: “He’s a Cheater in My Mind”

Las Vegas, NV — After spending the bulk of his career with just a couple of mixed martial arts promotions, former Bellator MMA lightweight champ Brent Primus is excited to fight for the PFL, and under the point system they’ve established.

Primus makes his debut opposite Bruno Miranda on the PFL 2 card in Las Vegas this Friday. He’s not too thrilled about how things ended with his last home, Bellator MMA, however — though there is a chance we could see Primus competing there again.

“I actually signed a contract with PFL where I could fight for Bellator or PFL,” Primus (12-3, 1NC) told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview this week, ahead of his promotional debut for the Professional Fighters League. “I’m excited. I really wanted to fight for PFL. It’s a new format, the points system, a million dollar tournament. So I’m excited, it’s pretty cool. So far I love everything PFL has done, the staff and everything. So let’s get this million dollars.”

Of course, the end of his Bellator run, for the time being anyway, came at Bellator 300. Primus lost to Usman Nurmagomedov in a lightweight grand prix semifinal that night, with the promotion’s 155lb title on the line.

The loss took away a chance at the million dollar final. Then Nurmagomedov failed his drug test.

“It was crazy. I got a call from the Attorney General, the head of the commission, and I did a Zoom meeting with all them and a bunch of attorneys,” Primus recalled. “And they told me Usman failed his drug test, he cheated, get ready to be in the finals, to fight [Alexander] Shabliy for the million dollars. I started training for that, and then I heard it got cancelled, they switched me to this tournament. Which has just been kind of a roller coast.”

Bellator’s lightweight grand prix never did conclude. With the acquisition of the promotion by the PFL, it appears to have been iced. Nurmagomedov, who was not stripped of his title despite the failed drug test, will face Shabliy later this Spring with the belt on the line. But the million dollars in prize money has fallen by the wayside.

“It sucks, because I thought I was going to be fighting for the million dollar tournament in Bellator, but here we are. I get another shot at a million dollars, and I’m excited.”

All that having been said, Primus isn’t too focused on the Bellator side of things, but you won’t convince him that Usman Nurmagomedov didn’t cheat, despite the Dagestani’s defense that the banned substance in question came from a prescribed drug.

“He’s a cheater in my mind. I don’t care what anybody says. I talked to the Attorney General, the head of the commission, they told me he definitely cheated,” Primus stated. “So man, I feel like if you cheat, you’re doing steroids, I feel like all your accomplishments are a bunch of waste.”

As for Nurmagomedov vs. Shabliy, “I know they’re both tough, it’s going to be a good fight. I’m going to go with Shabliy on that one.”

No surprise there.

Watch our full interview with 2024 PFL 2’s Brent Primus above.